As I mentioned in Issue 1, I have a journalism background, so when people start making analogies about how DevRel is first and foremost storytelling, it makes my heart happy. Needless to say, my heart is ecstatic, because storytelling is definitely woven through the resources from this past week!
We've got stories from the trenches about what to look for when hiring a DevRel team, how to fit all the puzzles pieces together, and why storytelling should be in the 'best practices' toolbox for any community manager.
There are also stories that you can pull from the raw data to fit your particular developer audience, as well as stories yet to be written at conferences and events still to come.
My storytelling senses are tingling now, so you'll excuse me as I go create more resources and leave you to the newsletter. Enjoy, and as always, feel free to send me any feedback, comments, questions, or concerns: [email protected].
-Mary Thengvall, @mary_grace
Heidi Waterhouse, Developer Advocate at LaunchDarkly, sums up the DevRel life quite well:
Travel the world.
Visit exotic conference centers.
Form strong opinions on luggage.
Life isn't a Movie Set 🎬
David DeWald, Community Manager at Bit9 + Carbon Black reminds us that no matter how many good stories we tell (or believe), we don't live in a Field of Dreams world:
I continue to see people and companies build out a community platform, before they actually have a community. Community is never going to be a, "If you build it, they will come" situation. Never...
The Golden Rule of Onboarding
Aaron Corso, Senior Software Engineer at Ellucian has the right story to tell regarding developer onboarding:
The Golden Rule should be applied to developer experience and technical onboarding - "onboard others the way you'd like to be onboarded."
Once the Story is Written, Don't Forget to say Thank You!
Community Roundtable Cofounder Rachel Happe took the time to say thank you to everyone who filled out the State of Community Management survey:
For all of you in the #cmgr #ESN #KM #socbiz & #DigitalTransformation space who took part in this year's State of Community Management research, THANK YOU!
We exceeded our stretch goal for participants, which will allow us to deliver more insights back to the market
Together, we tell quite the story!
Your Community is the Expert
If we're willing to admit that our community members are the experts, then Microsoft MVP Amy Dolzine has expertly summarized this talk from Darrell Webster and Kirsty McGrath:
Orgs need to invest in #communitymanagement skills and enablement to help their people succeed. It’s a specialty skill that pays dividends.
Why use storytelling in your online community?
So why is storytelling so important? The biggest reason is that it allows us to take the qualitative metrics and turn them into anecdotal evidence, which can be used to further company goals. It also allows us to frame our accomplishments in such a way that helps executives see the business value in our endeavors. In this article from the Community Roundtable, Chris Catania, Community Team Lead and Strategist at ESRI, talks about some of the best practices for using storytelling in your online community to bring value back to your company.
The Irish Tech News encourages us to think of our presence on social media not so much as a broadcaster, but more as a facilitator-curator. Author Virpi Oinonen suggests that we should be paying more attention to conversations rather than polished, fact-checked articles and announcements that internal comms professionals push through newsletters, intranets, and email. As a journalist turned community storyteller, I couldn't agree more!
9 Effective Tools for Community Managers
Everyone needs a few good tools in their back pocket. Nancy Casanova, Social Media Strategist at SCE, walks through her go-to tools for social media, content planning, and keeping up with the industry trends. I've bookmarked a few of these myself to check out in the coming weeks!
Curating Stories from Raw Data
The team at StackOverflow has begun to curate stories from the raw data of their Annual Developer Survey, which was filled out by over 100,000 developers in January 2018. Take a look at their initial findings, and keep an eye out for the raw data to be released soon as well.
Gather, Engage, and Include... Then Rinse & Repeat.
Getting a community to gather in one location is a hard enough battle to fight some days, but that's not the only thing on your plate. You not only have to make sure that the community that has gathered is diverse and inclusive, but that they also remain active. That (and more) is all in a day's work. Here are a few resources that might help:
-Kaare Long, Founder of a Cue Creative, gives some pointers on how to create and maintain a viable and successful online community. While these might seem like they're bringing us back to the basics, a good community starts with the basics! If your foundation isn't solid, you won't have the ability to grow and mature in the ways you hope.
-Bradley Chalupski of Vanilla Forums brings us this next article: Encouraging Lurkers to be Active in your Community. We've all been the lurker -- not sure what to say or how to engage, or if we even want to! Combining data with gamification can help bring those lurkers out of the shadows and give them something to chat about.
-Lastly, but perhaps the most important of all, is making sure that all of your members not only feel welcome, but included in a community that is a good representation of who they are. In this great blogpost, Pagerduty CEO Jennifer Tejada talks about how their company values of trust, inclusion, and growth are reflected in their community initiatives.
DevRel Leadership: all the pieces matter
Being a leader means seeing the birds-eye view and making sure all of the pieces fit together both above the forest and inside each individual tree. At DevRelCon London 2017, Ade Oshineye, Senior Staff Developer Advocate at Google, talked about how to fit together advocacy, design, context, support, growth, metrics, and happiness.
Community Interaction and Conflict on the Web
While some people love to read academic papers in their spare time, I can't say that it's ever been a hobby. However, given the number of research papers being written around community topics lately, I may have to find a way to enjoy them! This one in particular deals with the conflict that can occur in online forums, and how quickly those conflicts can grow. As I'm sure some of you have observed over the years, researchers Srijan Kumar, William L. Hamilton, Jure Leskovec, and Dan Jurafsky point out that while most conflicts are started by active community members, it's the less active users that carry them out. Read more fascinating conclusions in their summary.
Sharing our Stories with the Fashion Community
While we tend to see our particular skills as siloed to the tech industry, some of the principles relate to the fashion and style industries as well. While their content isn't made up of sample code and technical documentation, the principles of understanding your audience and meeting them where they are remain the same. Some brands in the fashion and beauty industries are starting to pick up on this and use it to their advantage -- Glossier in particular. But as Vincent Boon, Founder of Standing on Giants points out, they still have a long way to go.
Listen while you work 🎧
If listening to podcasts is your preferred way of consuming information, then I've got two great episodes to keep you company on your commute this week:
-DevRel Radio brings you the story of how Jeff Carpenter came to be a Technical Evangelist at DataStax.
-Community Pulse sits down with Jill Jubinski, Senior Manager of Tech Recruiting at Fastly and Matt Broberg, VP of Community at Sensu to chat about hiring a Developer Relations team.
Looking for even more resources to help you build a team? Check out this recent post from Feverbee about how to benchmark community professionals and aim to level everybody up.
Developer Relations Events
Thanks to the help of Alfredo Morresi, DevRel Community Manager at Google, and his list of DevRel conferences, our events listing has doubled this week! Be sure to check out the handful of meetups and webinars that are coming your way soon as well.
Developer Relations Jobs
At my last count, we've got over 100 open jobs for Developer Relations Professionals this week! As always, let me know if you spot ones that are no longer available, or if there are some that I'm missing!
Developer Avocados 🥑
Looking at Avocados Through a Different Lens
Some people tell stories through their words. Others use a video camera and some fantastic stop-motion wizardry. It's safe to say this is, hands-down, my favorite video ever to feature avocados. The facts are on my side with this one as well -- according to the Academy, it's the best (and dare I say, only) film about avocados to be nominated for an Oscar. 🏆